PISTON: Chamber Music
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\The art of composition is never completed. It is a lifetime's continuing pursuit", wrote the American composer, Walter Piston. Born in 1894, he was a self-taught violinist, pianist and saxophonist earning a living playing in dance halls, hotels and restaurants. He was twenty-six before he began to study composition, eventually moving to Paris as a pupil of Dukas and Nadia Boulanger. Though his music was influenced by their teaching, his individuality and Americanism is evident throughout his modest catalogue of music. Central to his output were eight fine symphonies, two violin concertos, and the famous ballet, The Incredible Flutist. Most of his chamber music comes from his later life, and combine his ready sense of good humour with an attractive melodic content.